In Israel the sound of the trumpet meant different things. But when Jeremiah uses it in Jeremiah 4:5, it came mean but one thing. He says, “Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say, ‘Blow the trumpet through the land; cry aloud and say, ‘Assemble, and let us 03 sound the trumpetgo into the fortified cities!’” Mackay explains, “The trumpet was an instrument made of horn, which was not intended for musical performance (it emitted a raucous blare) but to give a signal. It was used in time of invasion or emergency to alert the populace throughout the land to imminent problem (Amos 3:6; Joel 2:1).”[1] Willis makes a modern comparison. He writes, “The use of air raid sirens during World War II would be a close modern parallel.” It’s the call for the people to flee to a place of safety while they still can. Willis continues, “The call to go to Zion is not just pointing people to Jerusalem, but to a second, specially-fortified district inside the walls of the city itself, where the palace and temple and other key structures were located.”[2]

Exodus 15:3 refers to God as “a man of war.” It’s one of the more frightening figures of God’s disposition towards evil. When judgment comes, God always sounds His trumpet and provides a way of escape. When God brought destruction through the flood, he sounded the warning and provided a way of escape for those who would believe. When God destroyed Sodom he sounded a trumpet and provided a way of escape to those who would believe. When God destroyed the first born sons in all the land of Egypt, He sounded a trumpet and provided a way of escape. It was the blood of the lamb! When the warning trumpet sounds you better run!

Nothing has changed! God still sounds His warning trumpets of His judgment that will come upon the world but He has provided a way of escape. Like the Passover it’s through the blood of the lamb. Imagine the “man of war” brining all His justice to bear upon His own Son. The only place of safety is in the inner sanctums of God’s provision. It’s through the temple courts, through the altar of sacrifice, into the Holy Place, through the veil and into the Holy of Holies where God has set His mercy seat! Run! Run! The veil has been rent and the way is open to all! Run!

[1] John L. Mackay, Jeremiah: An Introduction and Commentary: Chapters 1–20, vol. 1, Mentor Commentaries (Fearn, Ross-shire, Scotland: Mentor, 2004), 212.

[2] Timothy M. Willis, Jeremiah/Lamentations, College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., 2002), 70.